The Impact of Effective Digital Marketing Strategies on Business Growth: A Golden Door Case Study

October 19, 2023

At Van West Media, we’re passionate about helping our clients thrive in the digital realm. When we were given the opportunity to collaborate once again with Golden Door, the world’s premier luxury destination spa, we knew we were in for a remarkable project. Our goal was clear: to transform their website into a seamless, user-friendly experience befitting the #1 destination spa in the world.

Golden Door has long been synonymous with indulgence, relaxation, and rejuvenation. We believed that navigating their website should mirror the tranquil and seamless experience guests enjoy at the spa. So, we set out to re-engineer the site’s underlying architecture, and the results have been truly transformational.

Crafting User-Centric Excellence

Leveraging our expertise in user experience (UX) design, front-end development, and back-end content management, we embarked on a complete overhaul of the website. The project began with meticulous development specifications to ensure that the website looked stunning across all devices and screen sizes. Page-specific content was crafted and published to enhance search visibility, ensuring that anyone seeking the unparalleled luxury of Golden Door could effortlessly find it.

Elevating E-Commerce with Shopify Integration

Golden Door’s reach extends beyond their spa services; they also offer a range of products through their Boutique and Country Store. To make these offerings more accessible to their clientele, we seamlessly integrated Shopify stores. This transformation has made it effortless for Golden Door to reach their customers and showcase their extensive product catalog. Guests can now easily explore and purchase hundreds of offerings, enhancing their overall experience.

Aesthetic Refinement and Immersive Experience

Golden Door’s brand is a symbol of both luxury and well-being. To align with their brand identity, we carefully adjusted the site’s color palette, infusing it with the sense of healthful opulence that defines Golden Door. The navigation was revamped to provide an immersive experience, allowing guests to lose themselves in the world of rejuvenation that the spa offers.

Results that Speak Volumes

Since the launch of the new site, Golden Door’s staff has been delighted with the improvements, and the results are equally impressive. Web traffic has seen a significant increase, reflecting the enhanced user experience and accessibility of their products and services.

At Van West Media, we take immense pride in delivering transformative experiences to our clients. The Golden Door project is a shining example of how effective digital marketing strategies and a user-focused approach can drive business growth and customer engagement. It’s a testament to the positive impact of aligning a digital presence with the luxurious experience that Golden Door provides to its cherished guests.

5 Essential Elements for a High-Converting Website

October 19, 2023

Are you eager to skyrocket your website’s conversion rates and transform casual visitors into loyal customers? Your website functions as your online storefront, and, just like a physical store, it must captivate, guide effectively, and provide an outstanding customer experience. To help you achieve this, let’s delve into five crucial elements for creating a high-converting website, complete with practical examples:

1. Captivating Visuals 📸

Think of your website’s visuals as the storefront’s window display. They should be eye-catching and enticing. This includes high-quality images, videos, and graphics that align with your brand and its values. For example, if you’re running an e-commerce fashion site, your product images should showcase the items from multiple angles, allowing visitors to scrutinize every detail. Implement zoom features and, if possible, offer 360-degree views. These visuals will provide the closest experience to holding the product in a physical store.

2. Intuitive Navigation 🔍

Consider your website’s navigation as the layout of a physical store. It needs to make sense and offer clear directions. Your menu structure should logically categorize your content. For instance, if you’re managing a news website, create categories like “Politics,” “Technology,” and “Entertainment.” Implement a search bar that allows users to find specific articles easily. A stellar example is news giant CNN’s website. Its clear menu categories and search functionality help users quickly access the news they want.

3. Compelling Content 💡

Your website’s content serves as your in-store sales team, providing valuable information and guiding customers. If you’re running a travel blog, your content should offer detailed insights into travel destinations. Consider providing sample itineraries, restaurant recommendations, and local insights. In essence, your content should be so compelling that readers are inspired to pack their bags and head to the airport. Take a cue from travel blogger Nomadic Matt, whose engaging content and travel tips turn website visitors into globetrotters.

4. Conversion-Focused Landing Pages 💥

Landing pages are akin to your store’s sales counter, where visitors make decisions. If you’re operating a software company, a landing page for a free trial should be clear, concise, and compelling. Highlight the software’s benefits and guide visitors towards the sign-up button. Salesforce’s free trial landing page is a prime example. It emphasizes the free trial’s value, provides a simple sign-up process, and instills confidence with trust signals like customer logos.

5. Mobile Responsiveness 📱

In today’s mobile-centric world, your website must provide a seamless experience on smartphones and tablets. A fantastic example of mobile responsiveness is Airbnb’s website. On mobile devices, Airbnb’s site retains its user-friendly interface, ensuring that users can effortlessly browse listings, view high-resolution images, and book accommodations. Load times are minimal, and navigation remains intuitive, regardless of the device.

By incorporating these five essential elements, you’ll significantly enhance your website’s conversion rates. Remember that your website should be a dynamic entity, continually adapting to your audience’s evolving needs and expectations. Regularly analyze user feedback and site analytics to refine your website for optimal conversions. Your website is your 24/7 digital ambassador, so ensure it’s always ready to provide an exceptional user experience!

Law Firm, SSRGA, Launches New Website by Van West Media

September 13, 2016

Schwartz, Sladkus, Reich, Greenburg, Atlas, LLP (SSRGA) is a dynamic New York City law firm with deep experience and a passionate commitment to providing smart, efficacious solutions to their clients. Their mission is to serve clients with loyalty and integrity and to help their clients leverage opportunities and surmount challenges while also maintaining a culture characterized by hard work, respect and dignity for all, “non-egotism, fairness and a sense of humor.” Their practice areas include litigation, health care, business & corporate, trusts & estates, and-for-profit.

SSRGA was looking for a complete refresh of their website. They felt their website lacked energy, did not properly convey their corporate ethos and that it was missing a certain wow-factor. At the time, SSRGA felt the website did not effectively differentiate them from the many law firms in and around NYC. They wanted a new site that would set them apart from the competition, so SSRGA turned to Van West Media (VWM) to help them reach their goal.

From the start, Van West Media’s design team worked closely with the Partners at SSRGA to help them define what a “wow” direction would look like from a design perspective. Historically, Law has been a somewhat staid field in terms of online presentation, so the new site had to be edgy and hip without feeling forced or over-the-top. Van West Media’s design team used several creative techniques and elements to differentiate the new site including the use of bright, but familiar colors, engaging micro-animations, and a host of interactive in-page effects that allowed the visitor to explore information in a manner that was fresh, entertaining, and most importantly, informative.

mail_image_preview-2After interviewing numerous companies, my law firm ultimately retained Van West Media to redesign our website and assist in marketing strategy. We are thrilled with the level of services Van West has provided. They hit a grand slam home run with our new website and have supplied us with valuable marketing guidance. Van West exceeded our expectations and we are proud to be one of their clients.” – Steven Sladkus, Partner, SSRGA

It was important for the homepage to make a very strong first impression to the user. With this goal in mind, Van West Media’s production team shot and edited a very carefully crafted video campaign to quickly illustrate some key elements of SSRGA’s culture. The video successfully and tactfully expresses that SSRGA’s law firm is thoughtful, dynamic, professional, and client-focused. It also clearly showcases they are located in the heart of Manhattan. The video was a great way to convey visually and quickly the ethos of SSRGA. Other effects that are utilized on the homepage include micro-animations and in-page interactive effects, easy to read typography, and the use of a bright and inviting color palette.

Because SSRGA wanted their lawyers to be a primary focus of the new site, Van West Media spent two days on-site to capture headshots of every member of the team. These were used to create an effective section to showcase the firm’s attorneys with quick and easy access to lawyer bios, LinkedIn profiles, and contact information. Each attorney is also connected to a robust on-site search mechanism.


Sometimes the Best Business Idea is Someone Else’s

February 28, 2014

Could copying successful business models and launching in emerging markets be the next big thing? So many technology giants and Silicon Valley legends are known for creating something out of nothing and carving ideas into companies. A new generation of startups in emerging markets seems perfectly content to copy, at least in part, the business models of existing companies and launch them in new parts of the world where they might succeed. After all, if it ain’t broke, don’t re-invent it?

A recent article in the New York Times offered a really interesting glimpse in to the idea of copycat business models. The general idea has always been around, but the article points to some interesting ways in which it is getting a bit more large scale. One company the article focused on, Rocket Internet, seems to be taking this to another level and works to assemble team financial people, tech people and funding specifically to create businesses that mimic existing successful business models.

rocket internet
Rocket Internet has created over 100 companies in 50+ countries, including some of the ventures in this screenshot from their website.

From what we gathered the company seemed to be really good at moving really fast with smart people and lots of money in new parts of the world. Think this: get an MBA guy, a Wall Street guy, give them a few million dollars and send them to Denmark to make the next Fresh Direct, or send them to Berlin to create the next Airbnb. If the company can show some profitability and signs of life within 6 months or so, then keep growing. If they don’t, maybe re-evaluate all together or just give up on that one and try again. The companies that do make it keep growing into money making ventures, potential acquisition targets or even future IPO candidates.

Our New York Web Design team at Van West Media thought it might be interesting to take a look at some of the websites mentioned in the NYT article and see exactly how similar they appeared to the companies they were emulating. Most of the websites we looked at were from Rocket Internet, the company mentioned in the New York Times article.

First Impressions:
WOW there is a lot of companies. Judging from the logos alone listed on the ventures page there are more than 50 different companies. After looking at a few of the websites it became clear that really comparing them side by side to the companies they were emulating would take a little time – particularly since Van West Media is a New York marketing agency. Most of the websites were native to countries outside the U.S. and in a different language. While many had similar design elements, there weren’t any that immediately appeared to be a straight up duplicate design or total rip-off. For the most part we were comparing home page to home page and a lot of the websites might have different internal pages once accounts are created. In short, there were similarities in some aspects of design, but for the most part it seemed like the focus was more on a business model being deployed in a new part of the world that had proven to already work somewhere else, perhaps with a few local twists or tweaks.

It’s hard to tell what to think about this concept of mimicking existing successful business models and launching them in new places. On the one hand, the core idea of many e-commerce websites is to provide goods and services to a certain population and has more to do with providing than innovating. If a player like Rocket Internet can get somewhere faster and setup quicker than competitors that might be a kind of skill on its own merits. On the other hand, there are companies that have invested a lot of time and energy to create a business that gets copied and monetized by others without compensation. Maybe they can leverage their existing reputation when they do grow to new locations or simply acquire other companies rather than grow them.

Your Website Needs To Do More Than Look Good

February 24, 2014

Your website can do more than you think. Most people think the most important part of their website is how it looks. A good looking website is mandatory these days, but that’s only one piece of the puzzle. The harder part is making sure it performs well. If you aren’t sure what that means then it might be time to call your website person and ask them. If they don’t know how the website is performing on the back end, then it might be time to find a new website team. New York City website design by Van West Media relies on years of agency experience to deliver premium websites and web marketing strategies.

At Van West Media we talk with business owners all the time that don’t have any idea how effective their website is in terms of performance. An effective website should contribute to your businesses bottom line. This means different things to different people depending on the type of business you have. For example, a Manhattan restaurant will have different website goals than a new residential development in Brooklyn Heights.

Van West Media is a NYC Digital Marketing Agency that helps clients to market their goods and services. All business have different goals but creating a successful strategy has some common components.

Create a Compelling Website
Websites that look good perform better. This sounds simple enough but translating an idea into a website is not easy. Take 5 minutes to Google your competitors or some of the other businesses in your vertical and take a quick look at each of their websites homepage. Right away you should be able to tell which sites are done well and which sites have room for improvement. How does your own site look when compared to your competitors?

Get People to See Your Website
What good is a beautiful website if nobody sees it? There are hundreds of millions of websites out there and getting your site noticed can be challenging – especially in a competitive market like New York City. There are a number of ways to get people to visit your site. Optimizing for search engines and web rankings is as complicated as ever and it takes someone with knowledge of the industry to do it right.

Turn Site Visitors into Customers
A business website should be a tool that drives business. As obvious as this may sound, it’s something that a lot of companies overlook. Building a nice website and generating traffic and visits doesn’t do any good if it doesn’t help generate business.

Measure, Monitor & Improve
Once a website is published and getting visitors, knowing what works and what doesn’t work can make the difference between a good site and a great site. Data on each and every individual visit can be recorded and analyzed to help show how effective the website is in helping to generate business. Some of the important pieces of data collected on websites designed by Van West Media include:

  • Most/Least visited web pages
  • Search Queries & Keywords used to find site
  • Geographic information on site visitors
  • Social Media mentions
  • Traffic patterns throughout the day
Not sure where to start on your next website design in New York City? Contact Van West Media


A Simple Small Business Website Checklist

October 25, 2013

Creating a website can seem like a lot of handle for a small business. What do you you place on the homepage? What do I need to update constantly? There are a number of questions and we are here to help you with this simple checklist of what you need for a successful website.

1. A visually appealing header and logo can take you a long way. It is what people first see when they go to your website and what they judge. This doesn’t mean to use flash and crazy colors and effects on your page but rather a clean and effective design. This makes your viewers see that you are a no-nonsense and practical business. Your logo should also be the most visible aspect of your header. Think of your header like your name. It is what people first know about you and from there, they will see how your business is.

2. Simple Navigation. People don’t want to have to search so hard to get from page to page. By keeping it right below the header or down the side of the page. This will allow people to go from one important page of your site to another easily. Also, make sure that you don’t overdo it either. Do not include links that aren’t necessary. You should limit the number of links in your navigation to no more than five links.

3. Provide an offer to opt-in. You want to stay in contact with those who view your website. You can do this by giving a free offer to opt-in to. Whether it’s some tips, a newsletter or an e-book, you want to give people something of value so that they plug in their e-mail for you to reach out to them in the future. Have this offer in an easy-to-locate area of your website or make it stand out somehow. This is key to start connecting with your visitors and potential customers.

4. A static sidebar that’s visible on all pages of your website makes sure that your viewers always see what you have to offer. “Sticky content” can include your opt-in offer or a welcome blurb to new visitors. It’s common to have popular links on your site in your sidebar as well including some of your services. This will give people an idea of what your best services are. People like seeing how others react to your services and this can give them an idea. You can also have a sliding testimonial widget to move further in this realm.

5. Social media integration is important. You should also have these buttons in your sticky sidebar. This will allow your visitors to continue to opt-in to your business on many different networks and share news about you to others. It will allow for free marketing from satisfied customers. Social media also allows for you to communicate with your viewers in a timely manner. It allows you to immediately respond to questions and concerns and make your customers as satisfied as they can be with your business.

6. Contact information must be included because this is how people can reach out to you. Not everyone is involved in social media, but if you provide your phone number, email and location, you can help people with their questions as well. Professionalism is important when it comes to the web because anyone can make a website. People like seeing to believe and this makes you “real.” Providing this contact information makes you look more legitimate as a business.

The Importance of Landing Page Design

June 24, 2013

A landing page is the first impression you have with your audience. It represents your name, brand and what your company stands for. Just like people need to make good first impressions, you need to design a landing page that portrays everything good that you want your audience to see about your brand.

daten group

Marketing advertising design is best way to lure in new customers and gain new leads. Most people are visually inclined to participate in things and then they look at the content afterwards. If you have a poorly designed landing page, what would make people want to continue looking through your website to learn about what you have to offer? Image is everything and that is what a landing page is for your company online.

The mobility of our lifestyle in this generation makes it necessary to maintain a strong online image of brands to reach out to the people. Because of this, many companies have hired graphic design companies or creative design agencies for their marketing needs. It’s understood that a brand’s image is what stands out most to people and everyone wants the attention placed on their brand.

the sullivan

Don’t fall behind in the creative aspect and make a strong statement of your brand with a great landing page. Let us help you to stand out among the rest by creating an amazing landing page for you! Check out the many sites we have created in the past at Van West Media to give you an idea of what wonders we can do for you!

Stand Up NY Launches New Website: A Sleek and Modern Revolution

February 20, 2013
NEW YORK, NY — Since 1986, Stand Up NY has paved its way through warming the hearts of its audience through performances and laughter. With its open doors to the Upper West Side, it stands as one of the oldest comedy clubs in Manhattan.

“Stand Up NY as a comedy club and brand is looking forward to transitioning into the next stage of our evolution by embracing new media by giving comedy fans access and easy ways to share funny and original content. Van West Media was able to translate my vision into a beautiful deisgn and user-friendly interface.”
— Dani Zoldan 

Van West Media has created a new and improved look for Stand Up NY to represent the different aspects of the company. As we turn away from the old-fashioned gold and black palette as well as the dated typeface, we characterize Stand Up NY as refined through our new modern and clean-cut look. Through this change, we steered towards a new red and black color palette, as these colors are bold and stand out in a crowd. These colors represent the performers at Stand Up NY and how the company strives to find upcoming talent. A great feature we included that correlates with this idea is the “Open Mic” page, which allows performers to get noticed easily as they express their talents.
Not only is this look and feel of the site aesthetically pleasing, but the navigational aspects are also more user friendly. The simplified menu allows for easy navigation with self-explanatory links and pages. By placing the calendar on its own page rather than the home screen, the company is able to highlight specific acts, giving more attention to those that are presenting soon. The slideshow feature for the upcoming acts also allows users to understand that there are more artists. Users can also easily find out about acts and purchase tickets through Laughstub. Through this integration, comedians can get noticed through personal profile pages as well as show lists with tickets for audiences to purchase on the site.
Another prominent improvement we made involves social media. By integrating social media through the site, we allow the audience to feel more connected to the performers at Stand Up NY. These widgets give quick blurbs of the performers’ thoughts and ideas as well as teasers to give an idea of what’s to come for their shows. By engaging with their audience, both Stand Up NY and its performers can hear feedback from the people they wish to positively entertain. Visit the new Stand Up NY website and follow Stand Up NY on Instagram and Twitter to see for yourself!
For more information, contact Shad Mohammad at 1-718-288-2463 or

Web Design Trends of 2013

January 23, 2013

wireframes2013 comes with a new year and new technology that our industry needs to adapt to. With this in mind, everything from touch screens to retina display makes a critical difference to how customers view our designs. Here are several things to be aware of:

1. Responsive Design isn’t only for mobile devices anymore. There are now tablets and touch-screen laptops that are included in this fluid design technique. In 2012, responsive design flourished and expanded as THE way to design. Mashable‘s website redesign has taken advantage of this technique to neatly distribute its content throughout a vast array of devices.

2. Retina Display causes sites with heavy images to have a “grainy” effect. It’s important to have clear high-resolution images to make sure the high-definition display doesn’t hinder the site. For coding, web developers and designers have also adapted with retina.js and pixel query solutions. Retina.js checks images on the page when a user visits to see if there is a high-resolution version of that image on your server. If a high-resolution variant exists, the script will swap in that image in-place. Pixel query solutions involve multiplying standard pixels by 4 to show more pixels on the same surface area, making the image clearer.

3. Fluid Yet Definitive Framework such as Bootstrap is necessary for the future of your designs as its is sleek and minimal with great navigational design. It is the perfect framework for any device as it can adjust to any dimensions. It has simple yet advanced javascript and customizable components. These features make up the crucial parts of a site in the modern world that can easily adapt to the new technology of 2013.

4. Traffic depends on content quality over quantity. This is a major change and people always embed keywords and a lot of text to take up a page. Minimalism in the layout is similar to the minimalist sense of writing as well. People enjoy going to a site and finding exactly what they came for rather than having to search between all the useless information. Only valuable, useful and helpful content should be included. Everything else is unnecessary. 

With these ideas in mind, a site can achieve success or at least keep up with the top sites in this economy and state of technology. The world of technology and the minds of customers adapt over time and without analyzing the changes, a business can move from the top to the bottom easily. It is important for one to understand that knowing and keeping up with customers is how a business can run and stay successful.

Online Marketing & Design: The Source to Success

January 16, 2013

Great communication is the main reason for a successful business but how is this achieved? Online marketing and design is what brings audiences and businesses together to give both groups what they strive to accomplish.

Why Online Marketing?
Many believe marketing in general to be dead when on the contrary, it has evolved more than ever today. Online marketing should be the most implemented when it comes to businesses these days. In this generation, people look towards the internet for almost everything as it gives almost instant gratification when it comes to research. Because the world is so fast-paced nowadays with technology people are impatient to wait on the phone for answers or feel the need to travel for services without looking them up first. By being invisible online, the business may as well be invisible to audiences as a whole. As technology is advancing, old-fashioned ways including phone calls, letters and e-mails just won’t cut it. It is important for businesses to understand that in order to make it in this industry, they must keep up with the market and in today’s economy online marketing is the way to go.

To Crowdsource a Design or Not?
Anyone can crowdsource a design but what are your benefits? Does it give value to your business? The designs may seem appealing at first, giving it the “glam” appeal. However, investing in these designs isn’t smart as they aren’t demographically based or as appealing to designs that are created by your market for your audience. These wouldn’t work well in the long run and don’t communicate effective as the creativity would be lacking for this marketing strategy. This hurts your business as creativity is a vital part to your message to your audience.

How the Combination Works Effectively
Marketing and design go hand-in-hand as they fulfill each other’s needs. Marketing creates the plan for sending a business’s message to its audience as design delivers the message to the right demographic effectively.  Marketing involves taking into account who is using the product/service, how audiences will interact with it and where to place it. The design aspect shows audiences what there is to offer, why it would appeal to audiences and why people should invest in it. Through this combination, audiences will receive your message clearly and hopefully, invest in what your business has to offer.